LONDON (Within the Law) - A barrister who accepted a loan from a client and provided misleading information has been disbarred at a disciplinary hearing.
The tribunal heard how David Kingsley Wedge, an unregistered barrister who was called to the bar in 2002 was struck off in 2019 for a series of failings. These included failing to provide clients with a proper standard of service and providing misleading information.
He was also struck off for accepting a £110,000 loan from a client and failing to pay it back in a private case. The tribunal at the time said he “displayed wilful disregard of his professional obligations in the broadest sense” and had “an arrogant disregard of his clients’ affairs”.
Much of his conduct, said the tribunal, had come in order to cover up his incompetence. In doing so his clients felt the brunt. The 2019 tribunal heard how a father suffered after instructing him in a child contact case.
“The year of contact that he lost with his daughter was used against him at court in his application for contact.
“It had a detrimental effect on his daughter who had become distressed, believing that her father did not want to see her and that he did not want to know her.
“He had suffered financial loss, the monies paid to the respondent representing a large part of his monthly income. He had been in debt and suffering from depression.”
Given all that the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Services decision to disbar him was more or less a formality. It found that he had repeatedly lied to clients and the regulator and had shown no remorse. His actions, they confirmed, were likely to diminish trust in the legal sector.
“The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mr Wedge reflects the fact that he failed to show integrity when practising as a solicitor and demonstrates that barristers are expected to uphold the highest standards of conduct,” said a spokesperson for the Bar Standards Board. “It also serves as a reminder that any barrister subject to disciplinary findings within another profession must report them to the BSB.”
(Written by Tom Cropper, edited by Klaudia Fior)